Honorees at the Three Hierarchs Awards event with Archbishop Demetrios, Cyprus Consul General in New York Vasilios Philippou, Greece’s Consul General in New York Ambassador George Iliopoulos and various day school officials.

NEW YORK – The Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education held its annual awards ceremony Jan. 30 for students who excelled in the Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek.

The program also commemorated Greek Letters and the Feast of the Three Hierarchs Held at Holy Trinity Cathedral Community Center in Manhattan.

Archbishop Demetrios bestowed the Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence to honorees for their achievements in Modern Greek exams held in June 2015.

Attendees included Consul General of Greece, Ambassador George Iliopoulos and Consul General of Cyprus Ambassador Vasilios Filippou, priests, principals, teachers, and the honored students’ families.

Students attended from Greater New York, Buffalo, N.Y., New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Missouri.

Following welcoming remarks by Maria Makedon, director of the Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education.

Master of Ceremonies Anna Prokop, principal of the Greek American Institute in Bronx, introduced keynote speaker Fr. Stefanos Alexopoulos, Ph.D., professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Fr. Alexopoulos posed the question “Are the Three Hierarchs Relevant today?” He emphasized their contribution to the cultivation of Greek Letters and the Hellenic-Christian civilization.

A festive musical program featurng the students of St. Demetrios Greek American Day School of Astoria, under the direction of Choir Director, Evangelos Chaziroglou followed.

Archbishop Demetrios presented the honorees by with the Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence and a Three Hierarchs icon.

His Eminence and Mrs. Makedon with Katerina Fakinos, one of the students with a perfect score in the comprehensive examinations; with her family, Fr. Nikiforos and Presvytera Chrissy Fakinos, sister Natalia, and Greek school principal at St. Demetrios Church, Merrick, N.Y., Tanya Laloudakis

Addressing the audience, the Archbishop referred to the humble and difficult life of the Three Hierarchs – St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom – as well as to their holy works that shaped our orthodoxy.

He also focused on the significance and value of the Greek Language and its effect on current reality describing a recent experience he had himself in the Sacred Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches in Geneva.

There, the Archbishop noted that “Archbishops and Metropolitans of foreign countries presented their theological proposals in the Greek Language, which left the attendees, parents, students, and teachers in awe.”


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